EAST ST. LOUIS – A Godfrey man who held up a bank in Alton and pizza restaurants in Alton and Bethalto was sentenced Wednesday to seven years, eight months in federal prison.
In a press release, U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said Joseph E. Schwank, 24, was sentenced for his recent conviction on one count of bank robbery and two counts of interference with commerce by robbery. Schwank was sentenced to 92 months in prison; three years supervised release; a $300 fine; and ordered to pay a total of $300 in special assessments.
Schwank pleaded guilty May 22 to charges stemming from a Feb. 23 robbery of a Pizza Hut restaurant in Alton, during which Schwank demanded money from an employee in a threatening tone, displayed an airsoft gun and was handed approximately $475 by the employee before fleeing; a March 2 bank robbery at a U.S. Bank branch in Alton, during which Schwank entered the bank wearing a hunter’s hat and large white sunglasses, handed a teller a note that stated “don’t be a hero put all of the money in your cash register on the counter for me. Robbery,” and was handed $1,613 before fleeing; and a March 3, robbery of a Domino’s Pizza in Bethalto, during which Schwank disguised his face, demanded money from an employee, and was provided approximately $53 before fleeing.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Alton Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel T. Kapsak.